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Spicy Blistering Tomato Marinara

Hands down this spicy blistering tomato marinara is one of my favorite sauces, and that says a lot considering I popped out a lot of pasta sauces in the past month. It is so fresh, so simple, and ready in under 30 minutes. This one was made especially for my spicy lovers out there. For those who can’t handle the heat? Don’t worry, there is an option to remove the chili flakes making this still a super flavorful everyday pasta sauce.

What Are Blistering Tomatoes?

Have you ever cooked cherry tomatoes until they pop open? That’s what blistering tomatoes are, small cherry tomatoes that are either oven roasted or pan fried until they burst open. By cooking tomatoes this way, they become sweet and savory, a perfect element to elevate a dish. In this case the juices from the tomatoes are the base of this sauce. While there are a few methods of cooking blistering tomatoes, these tips will remain the same.

  • Do not overcrowd the pan
  • Cook on medium heat – especially if you are cooking them with aromatics. The last thing you want is to have beautiful tomatoes but burn the garlic.
  • The less touching the better – Sure mix your tomatoes with garlic or basil, but then don’t touch them. Let them start to cook for a few minutes before you stir them again, or even better just give the pan a shake if you can to shift them.
Spicy Blistering Tomato Marinara

What You’ll Need For Spicy Blistering Tomato Marinara

  • Spaghetti FINE you can use any shape, but there is something special about long pasta and red sauce.
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Shallot
  • Chili Flakes
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Tomato Paste
  • Pasta Water– Yes this dish depends on that salty starchy pasta water, so don’t drain all of it. Right before straining your pasta grab 1 cup of the pasta water for the sauce. You won’t need the full cup, but always best to have more than you need.
  • Ricotta – the cool creamy ricotta against the spicy pasta is a dream. Trust me on this. If opting for store bough instead of farm fresh give your ricotta a little pinch of salt to bring out the flavor.

A Few Tips

  • Not a fan of spicy? As I said above this sauce has the option to not be spicy. Just remove the flakes from the equation!
  • This is a great sauce to make in advance and store in the fridge. Just make sure you store in an airtight container for no more than a week.
  • Want other easy pasta dishes? Check out Spicy Caper Pasta, and Spicy Sun-dried Tomato Pasta.

Spicy Blistering Tomato Marinara

Print Recipe
This spicy blistering tomato marinara is fresh, so simple, and ready in under 30 minutes.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Marinara, Pasta, Red Sauce
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 3 people


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp chili flakes 1 1/2 tsp for super spicy!
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp basil fresh, minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley fresh, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 lb pasta long
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


  • Cook pasta as per instructions in salty water. Right before you drain, reserve 1 cup of pasta water (you will only use 1/3- 1/2 cup, but always better to have more) Drain when complete, and put on the side.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil up in a pan or deep pot on medium-low heat. Once warm add garlic, shallots, salt, and chili flakes. Cook garlic and shallots for 5 minutes until garlic is fragrant and shallots are almost translucent. Do not burn this!
  • Add cherry tomatoes and give a stir. Top off with the additional 1 tbsp of olive oil. Raise the heat slightly. Cook covered for 5-7 minutes, giving the pan a shake every few minutes.
  • Add tomato paste, basil, and parsley and stir to combine.
  • Add pasta water and allow sauce to reduce for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add pasta and cook in sauce for 2 minutes.

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